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Shake it up for long-term fitness success

You love working out, right? Maybe “love” is too strong a word, so let's go with “like”. You like working out.

Perhaps you've been a regular gym goer for a while and exercising has become a part of your routine and a habit you don't have to think twice about.

First off, I want to congratulate you. Developing that healthy habit and realising the importance of a consistent approach to fitness is the crucial first step in taking care of your health and seeing positive changes to your body.

However, with consistency comes plateaus and that's what I want to talk about today.

Maybe you've been doing the same old routine, week in week out, for several months and it's beginning to feel a bit boring?

Perhaps physically you've hit a plateau, too? You're no longer losing weight as easily as before, or maybe you're not seeing the same fitness gains as you used to?

Not only are you mentally frustrated with working out, but your body isn't responding how it should.

I know how disheartening this can be. I've lost count of the number of plateaus I've hit in all the years I've been training. I know the frustration is real and it takes a lot of determination and discipline to break through, persevere and find a solution to take you to the next level.

I want to reassure you, though, that hitting a fitness plateau happens to practically everyone at one point or another.

The truth is, the human body is a very adaptable thing. So keep working it out in the same old way, doing the same type of exercise, lifting the same weight, hitting the same intensity and, eventually, probably sooner than you think, it will adapt.

So what do you do? It probably sounds quite obvious, but you switch things up. This is where different training protocols can really come into play.

If, for instance, you've been going for a steady 30-minute run a few times a week, how about trying some hill sprint intervals instead?

Are you always drawn to the cardio machines at the gym? Challenge yourself to step away and do a circuit-style workout including body weight movements such as push-ups, mountain climbers, jump squats and burpees.

If you've been lifting weights in the gym and performing basic sets where you focus on one exercise at a time and repeat the same move for a number of repetitions and sets, try switching to supersets or tri-sets to challenge your muscles in a different way.

A superset or tri-set is when you combine two or three exercises that target the same muscle group and perform the exercises back to back, one right after the other with no rest in between. This means the muscles you're focusing on not only get worked in multiple ways but are trained harder as you are lifting double the load with half the amount of rest. It's a sure-fire way to bust through that plateau.

There are thousands of options for switching up any workout routine, but the key thing is to be aware when a change in your training plan is necessary and to have the determination to push out of your comfort zone and continue to challenge yourself.

We all know how boredom can kill desire and how seeing a lack of results can make us question what we are doing and whether there is any point.

Following a well-structured and progressive training plan that takes plateaus into account and switches things up to keep you interested, is going to be essential for your long-term success.

Having now helped hundreds of people smash through their fitness plateau, if you feel yourself starting to slip into a rut, I urge you not to give up, but to get some help in figuring out a new plan.

Feel free to get in touch with me, and let's see if I can get you back on track to seeing progress once again.

Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with clients worldwide, including royalty. Contact her at www.beckywrightfitness.com or becky@beckywrightfitness.com

Do something different: switching up your routines is essential as the body will adapt to the same old workouts

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Published September 28, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated September 28, 2016 at 7:55 am)

Shake it up for long-term fitness success

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